The Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal Constitutionreport that Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta has had a lawsuit filed against him by two men. The men allege that Long engaged in sexual relationships with them as teenagers while they were members of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. CNN broke the story and other media outlets have picked it up since then. Even though the men were of age of consent Long could be in trouble in other states. The men’s attorney has said she is talking to other victims to see if more legal action can be taken.
Abusive Religious Leaders
In addition to scandals in the Catholic Church that have taken years to pan out, this current litigation may take years to solve in court. Bishop Eddie Long is a powerful local leader with ties to celebrities and leads what is termed as a “megachurch” on USA Churches.
In a recent trip to Great Britain, Pope Benedict XVI apologized to his English congregants about abuses that were covered up by the Catholic Church. Benedict stated that abusive priests should never have access to children saying that they have an illness that goodwill cannot mend according to USA Today. The scope of the Bishop Eddie Long scandal has yet to be fully determined.
Bishop Eddie Long Vital Stats
Bishop Eddie Long is a strong figure in the Atlanta area. His church broadcasts its services on the web and on television. Some of his notable acquaintances include Whitney Houston. The Easter service at his church along has cost a quarter of a million dollars in the past and last year he was forced to cut back due to the recession. Bishop Eddie Long’s idea of an Easter service was to have it in the Georgia Dome because his followers are so numerous.
Eddie Long, megachurch super Bishop, emphatically denies the charges brought forth by the two men. Only time and the protracted legal battle will tell what really went on. Whether the charges are true or not doesn’t matter to both of the men who are hurting emotionally and should get professional psychological help. My heart goes out to the alleged victims if the charges are true against one of Atlanta’s most well-known religious leaders in Eddie Long.
USA Today, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Associated Press contributed information for this article.